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April 2013

Globalink Professor Profile: Dr. Elizabeth Croft from UBC

Designing, building and testing robots for the automotive industry and rehabilitative therapy is a challenging, team-driven task, one that University of British Columbia’s Dr. Elizabeth Croft orchestrates every day. As Director of the university’s Collaborative Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Systems (CARIS) lab, Dr. Croft values the input and experience of every member of her twenty person team, including at least one Mitacs Globalink intern in the summers.

Having hosted Globalink students from India and Brazil at the CARIS Lab in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Dr. Croft was impressed by the strong work ethic and quick learning ability of the undergraduate visitors with whom she worked.

“Hosting a Globalink student helps my Masters and PhD students to learn and grow by giving them teaching and supervisory experience. But mostly, they gain from the diversity of experience and the different kinds of questions that our Globalink student brings every year.”

In exchange for the chance to learn in Canada, the students she hosts contribute their knowledge to projects ranging from automotive assembly line robots to rehabilitative therapy robots designed to help stroke patients increase mobility and independence. The interns, she says, have always come well-prepared, enthusiastic and ready to learn.

After submitting a research project, professors are matched to international students from India, China, Brazil or Mexico whose research interests and experience most closely align to their project. From there, the rest is taken care of by Mitacs.

“Mitacs Globalink is a credible program, and the risks are low since Mitacs saves me the logistical work of hosting an international student by sponsoring housing, expenses and even picking them up at the airport.  Since we know who our student is by January, we’re also given the chance to determine how they’ll fit into the team.”

Dr. Croft always encourages that researchers host a Globalink student and has already convinced a number of her colleagues at UBC to take part. “Mitacs Globalink is an excellent program; it really brings a benefit to the supervisor and to the other students who work with the international students. I encourage any researcher to go ahead and apply!”


 Mitacs would like to thank the following government and international partners, in addition to our full and associate university partners, for their support of Globalink in 2013: Government of Canada, Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Government of Alberta, le Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior of Brazil, the China Scholarship Council, the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education and the National Autonomous University of Mexico.